Cathedral Faces – Canon David Staples



Cathedral Faces – Canon David Staples

Father David Staples, an honorary assistant and Canon of the Cathedral is a regular attendee at the Sunday 8:00 am and Wednesday 10:00 am Eucharist. Many have often remarked how much they enjoy his occasional playing of the organ.

David requested that the interview be held in his home in downtown Fredericton, so that we could see “the real David Staples.” His condominium is filled with seven generations of antique furniture and paintings. He shares this “museum” as he playfully calls it, with his friendly Bombay cat, Lucifer.  Lucifer sports a sleek, totally black coat, peering at you with eyes that change colour with his mood. It is obvious who rules the roost!

Father David was born in Fredericton, and grew up in Nashwaaksis, attending The Church of St. John the Evangelist which was spiritually and lovingly cared for by the Reverend Canon C. Alvin Hawkes. In the 1960’s, Father David’s organ lessons began at the Cathedral under the competent instruction of Mrs. F. Lansdowne Belyea. Later, while attending Atlantic School of Theology, he was appointed organist of the University of King’s College, Halifax and continued organ and composition studies under Maitland Farmer, a former organist of All Saints Cathedral, Halifax. After receiving his Master of Divinity, David was awarded several scholarships which required the education must be continued outside the Atlantic Provinces. The subject matter was not restrictive, and so organ studies in performance under the internationally acclaimed organist Dagmar Kopecki, with composition, and theory with several other Toronto music professionals filled 1977. He was made a Deacon in 1976 in Fredericton and ordained a priest in 1977 by the Bishop of Toronto for the Diocese of Fredericton. Father Staples returned to the Diocese in 1977 and served as the Rector of the Parish of St. Peter’s, Fredericton, the Parish of New Maryland, and the Parish of Rothesay. Father Staples made many valuable contributions to the fiscal development of this Diocese, chairing several committees of the Board of Finance, and re-organizing and updating the investments of the Diocesan Trust Funds.

For those who know him, David has a remarkable sense of humour, and a ready twinkle in his eyes.  He says that has helped him accept the limitations brought on by the progressive advancement of the degenerative disease called Parkinson’s and the recovery from back surgeries which have curtailed many of his former activities.

For those who know him, David has a remarkable sense of humour, and a ready twinkle in his eyes.

In the past, Father Staples has been Chairman of the Friends of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, a Chairman of the Fredericton Chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Kings College, Halifax, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Artists.  Currently, he continues as an Honorary Assistant at the Cathedral and is a Chaplain of Jurisdiction in the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

When asked about what he feels was the highlight of his career, he movingly reflects on interaction with individuals whom he has helped to develop a deep faith.

David has many and varied interests: music, theology, history, visual art, the economy and yes, even medicine, to the horror of his doctors. We wish him well with his health struggles which he appears to be managing well.

Marilyn Lewell


2 thoughts on “Cathedral Faces – Canon David Staples

  1. Fredericton has truly been blessed to have Father David as an engaged member of our community. He is a kind and caring individual with a broad range of talents. His gift of music and celestial talent in playing the organ have brought enjoyment to many of our fellow citizens. His contributions to numerous organizations in our city have benefited from his leadership and wisdom. They are far too many to list but noteworthy is his contributions to the arts, museums, music and education.All of us who have known Father David over the years can attest to the fact that he has made a significant difference to our community and he has been a source for positive and progressive change.

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